No Cheesy Gifts: Great Holiday Gift Ideas on a Budget

Posted December 09 2016
by PenFed Team
holiday present and candles

Simplicity is the key to giving inexpensive holiday gifts that feel like a million bucks. Classic holiday goodies or treats based on a recipient’s personal interests turn even a humble gift into a warm winter hug.

Impress with a personal touch

Original artwork. Get personal with original art or collectibles from Etsy. Don’t try this if you’re not confident you’ll hit the mark, or you could set your recipient up with an awkward miss that can’t be returned. Allow plenty of time for production and shipping of these one-of-a-kind items.

Kitchen gadgets and foodie delights. For the cook in the family, you can’t go wrong with a gift of kitchenware gadgetry.’s list of best-selling kitchen utensils and gadgets offers something for gourmet chefs and microwave cowboys alike.

And for the foodie on your list, why not surprise them with a fresh box of organic produce delivered right to your gift recipient’s door. Farm Fresh To You partners with local farms and artisans to deliver the best mix of organic produce and specialty farm products. Customize the style of the box, select the frequency of delivery, and personalize the delivery option (home, office, or even choose to donate a box and have it delivered directly to a local food bank). This specialty box of organic love even includes recipe ideas!

Charging cables. Inject personality into something recipients will use every day: USB charging cables for their electronic devices. Get colorful with nylon braided cables that won’t get mixed up with someone else’s, or choose a practical, flat cord that won’t tangle.

If you are an Apple user, use caution when purchasing your charging cables. If you’re on a budget you may be tempted to snag the best deal. However, products that are counterfeit or uncertified can cause severe damage to your devices.

USB charging ports. In the same vein, give the most practical people on your gift list the gift of more USB ports they can plug in right where they’d most like to charge. Your gift recipients will bless your name every time they plug in at the end of a long, draining day.

Warm up to wintry classics

Holiday ornaments. Unique ornaments and tree trimmings are a traditional holiday gift. Look for something one-of-a-kind like a handmade ornament from your local holiday market and/or craft fair, peruse the assortment of handmade ornaments made from around the world at the nonprofit fair trade organization, Ten Thousand Villages, or keep it simple with a family DIY crafting and ornament gift exchange.

Books and e-readers. You can buy books just about anywhere, and this gift hits all the right notes, both traditional and personal. Find bestsellers at The New York Times. For the bookworm in the family who loves all things digital, why not consider the gift of an e-reader. These devices can quickly get expensive, but if you’re on a budget, the best bargain e-reader is the Amazon Kindle 2016. Find eBook bestseller gift ideas and inspiration at Amazon’s Best Sellers of 2016 in Kindle eBooks listing.

Hand-knit socks. Choosing the right size and style sweater for someone else can be hard to gauge. Instead, try thick, handmade house socks for a traditional gift that will keep your gift recipient toasty warm on cold winter nights.

Food and drink. You can never go wrong assembling a gift bag or basket of something delicious: a mug with some gourmet coffee or tea, pretty little gift bags filled with different nut mixes or chocolates, or a bottle of wine or six-pack of craft beer.

Holiday purchases that give back to you

Don’t let holiday gift purchases send your credit card balance into the stratosphere. Get more value from your purchases by using a PenFed reward credit card to make the purchase. You’ll earn reward points or cash back you can use all year long to help stretch your dollar further, sneak in a little treat for yourself—or buy more gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list!

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